Twitter FAQ - How do you schedule your tweets?
A few times a week I’m asked questions about Twitter. I don’t think I’m an expert by any means; I just spend a lot of time on this amazing network! I do remember when I first signed up to twitter though and I was absolutely baffled by it. At first I just left it for a few months as I had no idea what to do.
Then when I royally had enough of Facebook and its constant changing rules, dropping reach and questionable reach on paid posts, I got rid of my Facebook and turned back to Twitter. I’m so pleased I did as the majority of my website traffic and customers are all from Twitter. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really an incredible way to boost your business.
I’m going to start answering the questions I’ve been asked most on my blog. I hope they might help someone. If you have any more questions about how I use Twitter or general queries which you think I may know the answer to, leave a comment below.
How I schedule my tweets
I use two platforms – Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. Of the two, Tweetdeck is my all time favourite. I use it for more than just scheduling. If I use Twitter on my laptop I will use it via Tweetdeck. It enables you to have several columns open at once to see different streams. I have columns for @ mentions, quoted tweet mentions, scheduled tweets, user (myself – in case I need to double check anything I’ve tweeted if I think I’ve made an error/typo), #lyliarose, any other #s I’m following or retweeting, and any networking # hours I’m taking part in. I find it a billion times easier to manage my Twitter account than using the actual twitter.com. Especially when taking part in the networking hours.
Scheduling with Tweetdeck
Anyway, rambling on a bit there about other things… For scheduling manually with photos I prefer Tweetdeck. I usually do this daily each morning for 30 mins or so. Around 2-4 tweets per hour with a photo. I have Tweetdeck open to one side of my laptop with just the sending tweet column visible and an excel spreadsheet open to the other side of my screen with a bunch of prewritten tweets which I can copy and paste across. You can also do exactly the same on Hootsuite, but I find Tweetdeck more visually appealing.
I do tend to repeat myself quite a bit as it’s more the pictures I want to show and the website/offers are usually the same for a period of time! I’m also usually limited on time as I do this after my morning job and before the preschool getting ready/preschool run. I imagine myself having much more time when both the children are at school to really tweak the wording of my tweets and come up with much better quality tweets, but this is a long way off so for now it’s just how it is.
Scheduling with Hootsuite
I use Hootsuite if Tweetdeck is having downtime, but also for Hootsuite’s amazing bulk scheduling option. To schedule manually and to manage Twitter you can have a free account with Hootsuite. But, to use their amazing bulk scheduling tool you’ll need a paid account. At the moment I pay $17.99 per month which converts to around £12.70 per month. I figure it’s around £3 per week and it’s worth it for the amount of time it saves me.
Every time I wrote a new blog post I would spend ages scheduling it manually once per day for the next month or so. Now I simply add my tweet and link to a spreadsheet and upload the whole lot in a few minutes each day. I have a spreadsheet for sale items, shop items and blog posts. I change the dates each day and sometimes switch the times to try and catch different people at different times. It’s super easy to change the dates and times in sequence on Excel using their drag and fill option. The bulk scheduling allows you to schedule a maximum of 350 tweets at any one time and this can be done in a matter of minutes. You’re probably starting to see how much time this can save you!
Oh and Hootsuite have an app! Tweetdeck don’t. So with Hootsuite you can schedule when you’re out and about using your mobile phone – pretty amazing.
The only downside to the bulk scheduling with Hootsuite is you can’t add pictures. You can only have the text for your tweet and the URL (if there is one). One way to add a preview of your item for sale, or a preview of your blog posts with the photo from your website is to use Twitter Cards. This is a small piece of code you’ll need to add to your website and every time you tweet a link to a page on your website it will show a Twitter card, which is basically a preview of the page (title, photo, start of page text) which is clickable directly to your website. I set mine up ages ago so can’t remember the exact details, but I know it was easy to do and there’s a Twitter Card help guide here.
Don’t pay straight away
Before paying for anything, I’d recommend trying the manual scheduling and see how you get on. If you’re not tweeting very much per day there’s not much point in paying for anything at this stage. You may also find you have enough time daily to schedule some tweets so time is not an issue. Once they work out a way to add photos to the bulk schedule option I’ll be recommending that over anything else!
Hopefully this makes sense and isn’t a load of gibberish to you! Once you start playing around with Hootsuite and Tweetdeck it will begin to make sense and you’ll wonder how on earth you ever managed without these fab tools before!
NOTE - since writing this I am now using a new platform to schedule my tweets which is so much better in my opinion - please click here to see what I use now!